Blogging from scratch starts with a handful of crucial decisions.
You have to decide your niche, blog name, topics, content types, and so on.
Early on, you also need to decide which blogging platform to use.
In this post, we’ll compare two of the biggest blogging platforms on the web: Blogger and WordPress.
Blogger vs WordPress: Introduction
To kick things off, let’s have a look at our two contenders.
Blogger is a user-friendly content management system that can help anyone start a blog within minutes.
All you need is a Google account and you’re free to use Blogger as much as you like. It will help you install themes, create pages, write content, track earnings, and more – absolutely no coding required.
Blogger will also provide you with a free BlogSpot subdomain to boot.
The Blogger platform was launched by Pyra Labs in 1999 before being acquired by Google.
Similar to Blogger, WordPress is also a free content management system. However, you need to pay for your own domain and hosting before you can use it.
WordPress has a low-skill floor, but it also has an extremely high-skill ceiling.
That means beginners will be able to use WordPress effectively with no problems. But in order to reap the full benefits, you need to spend weeks learning the platform and tweaking your site.
WordPress was launched in 2003 by developers Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little.
Blogger or WordPress: Which is More Popular?
It’s true that Blogger came before WordPress. However, WordPress surpasses it in terms of popularity and relevance.
Furthermore, WordPress is also the CMS of choice for some of the top-earning blogs online. And with such an astronomical gap in popularity, it’s safe to assume that WordPress is doing something better than Blogger.
But that doesn’t mean you should follow suit.
After all, popularity is just a small piece of the puzzle.
There are 9 other factors to consider when choosing a CMS for your blog:
Blogger vs WordPress: The Showdown
1. Setup and Usability
First and foremost, you need to think about usability.
The vast majority of bloggers – beginners and veterans alike – don’t have technical web development knowledge.
If you’re one of them, you should think about the usability factor when picking a blogging platform.
Blogger is built specifically for one thing: to help users create and run blogs.
That said, the user experience when it comes to accomplishing this goal is top-notch.
Upon logging in, just click ‘Create Blog’ and Blogger will walk you through the entire process.
In less than a minute, your blog is ready to go.
You can start writing blog posts by clicking the big ‘Create New Post’ button. Once you’re in the editor, everything you need is neatly laid out for you.
To check out the rest of Blogger, head back to the dashboard and open the menu from the top-left corner.
From there, you can head to your blog’s comments, AdSense tracker, theme settings, and more.
By the way, installing themes with Blogger couldn’t be any simpler.
Simply head to the “Themes” page, click on a theme you like, and click ‘Apply.’
WordPress is the reason why millions of non-developers are out there running their own blogs today.
But how easy is it to use?
First off, take note that you need your own domain and web hosting to use WordPress.
That, alone, involves more steps than publishing your first article on blogger. But it’s still more than doable even if you have zero web development experience.
Don’t know about domain registration and hosting? My post on coming up with the perfect blog name explains it all!
After hosting your domain, you also need to install WordPress via the control panel.
This process is slightly different for each hosting company. But the most important step is usually to use an automatic installation tool, which looks something like this:
Automated installers usually do most of the work all the way up to admin account creation. When that’s over, you can finally log in to your WordPress dashboard.
The good news is, everything should be easier from there onwards.
WordPress put together a “welcome” banner with links to areas you need to set up first. This includes choosing a theme, creating your front page, building menus, and so on.
This should make it easier for beginners to finish setting up their blog. After all, WordPress’s navigation menu is a tad more complex than Blogger’s.
To create a post with WordPress, you can use the quick add button at the top toolbar. Alternatively, you can go to ‘Posts’ from the main menu and select ‘Add New.’
While WordPress is a bit more advanced than Blogger, it’s still easy to use.
You may have to go through a couple of tutorials to familiarize yourself with the dashboard. Regardless, an absolute beginner should have no problems getting things done with WordPress.
Overall, using Blogger is as easy as it gets.
There are, however, sacrifices to be made in terms of flexibility. But since we’re talking about usability, I’m giving the first win to Blogger.
In blogging, user-friendliness isn’t everything. You also need to consider the flexibility of your platform.
Otherwise, all your creative ideas will be bottled up by your blogging platform’s limitations.
Truth be told, customizability isn’t Blogger’s strongest suit.
Beyond picking your theme, the built-in design customizations are limited. You can change the background image, main theme color, typography, and gadgets – that’s it.
Blogger also has a handy layout editor that lets you modify specific sections of your blog. This includes your sidebars, headers, ad spaces, and footer.
On the flip side, you can make in-depth customizations to Blogger using HTML or CSS. You can also further customize your Blogger page through gadgets, which we’ll talk about in the next section.
WordPress is known for its superior customizability, especially when compared with other blogging platforms like Blogger.
The official theme library alone has 8,959 free themes you can choose from.
That number doesn’t even include the massive number of themes offered by third-party developers.
Related: 7 Best WordPress Themes for Bloggers
And that’s not all.
WordPress themes have different levels of customizability. You can change your blog’s colors, typography, button styles, header images, logo, site icon, backgrounds, social media buttons, and more.
Some themes also have built-in design elements like sliders, which you can customize within WordPress.
You can take customizations further by editing your theme’s codes through WordPress’s theme editor.
Moreover, WordPress supports third-party themes and page builders that take customizability to a whole new level.
More on that later.
The winner of this round is WordPress.
The functionalities of both Blogger and WordPress can be expanded via extensions: widgets and gadgets for Blogger, plugins for WordPress.
These extensions affect several aspects of each platform, including customizability.
Let’s compare their impact and usefulness.
Blogger extensions come in the form of gadgets and widgets.
Gadgets allow you to add predefined elements to certain areas of your blog. You can add things like ad spaces, search bars, page headers, and more.
Widgets, on the other hand, may come from third-party developers. These can instill new features and functionalities into your Blogger site.
You can use third-party widgets to add accordions, tables of contents, Instagram feeds, pricing tables, and so on.
To install widgets, you’ll need to inject their code into your website’s HTML. It’s not really an intuitive way to do it, but it works.
Choosing and installing plugins is essential when building a WordPress website.
A single WordPress plugin can dramatically change the way you use the CMS. Using a page builder, for instance, could mean you won’t ever have to use the built-in theme customizer ever again.
WordPress boasts a whopping 59,425 plugins available in their official plugin repository. These can be downloaded from their website or installed directly from the dashboard.
Just like WordPress themes, there are thousands of other WordPress plugins available from third-party marketplaces.
These plugins can help you do anything. You can create custom author boxes, implement two-factor authentication, optimize your images, create photo galleries, and so on.
Using WordPress plugins is also much easier than Blogger widgets.
Upon installation, you can access the plugin’s features straight from your dashboard. This also makes it incredibly easier to configure and modify how it works.
Put simply, WordPress plugins can completely change how bloggers use the CMS.
Plugins affect everything that makes WordPress great. It makes things like page builders, carousels, opt-in forms, calendars, and various integrations possible – even for beginners.
WordPress plugins can also impact your blog’s search engine optimization, performance, and security.
These are things we’ll also cover in this comparison.
Security should be a big deal for anyone who wishes to own and run a website.
A single security breach could make you lose everything you’ve worked for.
That’s why you need to consider a blogging platform’s security features before committing your time and effort.
Blogger takes advantage of Google’s secure infrastructure to keep sites protected against hackers and other security issues.
You don’t need to worry about finding a good hosting company that can provide your blog with robust security. As one of the tech giants on the planet, you can count on Google to keep your data safe.
Blogger also provides all users with an encrypted communication protocol through HTTPS or “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.” This can be activated by enabling a simple toggle on your blog’s settings page.
Here’s the thing: a typical WordPress site depends on dozens of different components.
It’s normal for WordPress-powered sites to have 20 to 30 plugins installed and activated at the same time. Not to mention that a lot of them use themes from third-party developers.
The more things you use on your website, the more potential attack vectors hackers can take advantage of.
Since it’s also the most popular CMS on the internet, WordPress is also a popular target in the hacking community. It’s no wonder that WordPress websites are much more likely to be attacked than sites powered by other platforms.
The good news is, there are several ways to safeguard your WordPress website’s data.
Apart from using HTTPS, you can also invest in security plugins to stave of cyber-attacks.
You can also use backup plugins to keep your website data safe and sound. For suggestions, check out my list of 6 best WordPress backup plugins for 2023.
Don’t get me wrong, WordPress can be an incredibly safe and secure CMS for your blog. You just need to use the right tools and implement the right practices to keep it that way.
But with Blogger, you don’t even have to think about security.
Your website’s protection is handled in the background by Google. This can give you peace of mind as you work on your blog.
Both Blogger and WordPress are positioned as “free” blogging platforms.
But we all know that it isn’t always the case.
If you want to use your own domain with Blogger (without the “.blogspot” extension), you’ll have to pay for one.
Having your own domain will help you build an authoritative and trustworthy brand.
Fortunately, you don’t have to pay a fortune to buy a custom domain for Blogger. Custom domains from Google only cost anywhere between $10 and $20 per year – sometimes a little more.
If you’d like to go cheaper, you can use sites like Namecheap to register your domain.
Other than your domain, you may also be interested in purchasing a few premium widgets from third-party developers like Elfsight.
Premium Blogger widgets are usually available for free or via paid subscriptions. Plans may cost around $10 to $75 per month, depending on the publisher and the widget you want to use.
However, premium Blogger widgets are completely optional. You can still run a successful blog without any of them, so there’s no need to worry about extra costs.
To create a working WordPress website, the minimum you have to spend is around $30. That should cover the cost of domain registration and hosting.
A more cost-effective alternative would be the special hosting offer from Bluehost for WordPress users, which only costs $2.95 monthly. This includes a free domain and SSL certificate.
Just remember that, with a minimum budget, you can only create a barebones WordPress blog.
To take full advantage of WordPress, you may be required to spend over $100 during your first year. That lets you afford a premium theme, a proper page builder, along with a few useful plugins.
Of course, you can always run your blog on a free theme like GeneratePress – without using any plugin.
You can then invest more money in your blog once it starts generating revenue. It’s all about being smart with your WordPress blog’s income and knowing your priorities.
No matter how you put it, Blogger is simply a much more affordable platform than WordPress.
You could spend years publishing through Blogger without spending a single cent. WordPress, on the other hand, requires you to pay the upfront costs of domain registration and hosting.
When starting a blog, a lot of beginners overlook the importance of ownership.
By owning your blog, you have sole control over how it is managed and supported.
With Blogger, you are the person handling your blog’s day-to-day operations. Unfortunately, you don’t really own the blog you’re running.
Keep in mind that Blogger is a blogging service owned by Google.
You are free to use and manage your blog in any way you like. But at the end of the day, the actual platform is Google’s property.
That means you may one day lose access to your blog in case Google pulls the plug on Blogger. They did so with Google+ and Feedburner, so it’s technically possible.
There’s also the possibility of Google terminating your Blogger account for Terms of Service violations.
It doesn’t matter if the violation is intentional or not. Having your content taken down and issuing an appeal is a major headache.
The WordPress CMS can only be installed and used in a self-hosted environment.
You – and only you – have control over this.
Even if your web hosting company decides to shut down, you can always migrate to a different host. As long as you have a domain and backups of your blog, it will survive.
Building a blog on Blogger is a form of digital sharecropping.
That means you’re relying on someone else’s platform to build your online presence.
But if you build your blog with the WordPress CMS, you’re 100% in charge. You don’t have to worry about losing your blog unexpectedly due to circumstances you can’t control.
This round goes to WordPress.
Selling products through your blog is possible on both Blogger and WordPress.
The question is, which platform does it better?
Although it lacks built-in eCommerce features, you can still sell products on your Blogger website.
One way to do this is by adding buy buttons or links to a separate store page. It can lead to a custom store page or another eCommerce website like Amazon.
Platforms like Selz also allow you to embed your entire storefront in your Blogger website. You just have to customize your store page from Selz and paste the source code on your blog.
If you want to accept payments via PayPal, you can use the free PayPal button widget offered by Elfsight. Just like with other widgets, you need to paste an installation code on your Blogger page’s HTML file.
When talking about eCommerce, WordPress offers more versatility and flexibility than Blogger.
There are hundreds of plugins that allow you to integrate a shopping cart feature into your WordPress blog.
Of course, there’s also WooCommerce – an all-in-one eCommerce platform designed specifically for WordPress. It includes themes, tools, and extensions that let you build a full-fledged online store right on top of your blog.
Remember, in terms of eCommerce, everything you can do on Blogger can also be done on WordPress. You can integrate eCommerce platforms like Selz, create buy buttons, integrate PayPal – all without messing with your site’s code.
There’s no question that WordPress outclasses Blogger in every eCommerce aspect.
You have more control over your store and a wider selection of eCommerce plugins. In addition, building an online store with WordPress is a much smoother experience.
When picking a blogging platform, you have to think about the long game.
You need something that can provide your website with long-term support, security, and feature updates. Otherwise, every ounce of work you put into blogging now will be at risk.
Google rolls out updates to their blogging platform fairly regularly. While most of these updates are minor, they have a huge impact on the experience of frequent users.
For example, in a recent update, Blogger users are now able to drag and drop images and videos into posts. Additionally, they are now able to freely resize images by simply dragging their corners.
WordPress has a long history of updates and revamps over the years.
And every few months, WordPress launches new “releases” that users can get excited about.
Releases often implement significant changes and enhancements to the platform’s key features. The latest release, WordPress 5.8 “Tatum,” introduces changes like duotone filters, suggested patterns, and new editor elements or “Gutenberg blocks.”
Gutenberg is the latest version of WordPress’s built-in post editor. It allows you to compose elaborate posts using blocks for text, images, columns, separators, quotes, widgets, and more.
Another reason why WordPress excels in the updates department is transparency.
On the “WordPress Codex,” you can find an exhaustive list of WordPress’s previous and planned versions. To learn more about each version, you can view the in-depth changelog or read the announcement blog post.
It’s true that Blogger regularly receives updates from Google. Unfortunately, the blogging platform hasn’t seen a major update in quite a long time.
Furthermore, a lot of Blogger updates involve features that other blogging platforms already had for a long time.
On the contrary, WordPress regularly gets important updates on features, security, and performance enhancements. That’s not including major releases like Tatum, which takes core features to new heights.
Now comes the big question: can you make money with Blogger or WordPress?
How well can either platform support you in this goal?
Let’s find out.
You can make money with Blogger using traditional strategies like display advertising, affiliate marketing, and sponsored posts.
There are no rules that prevent you from utilizing these monetization strategies on the Blogger platform.
The only problem is, having a BlogSpot subdomain isn’t really a great look if you’re trying to sell something. Luckily, this is something you can fix by purchasing a custom domain.
With WordPress, there are absolutely no limits on how you can make money with your blog.
You can earn commissions through affiliate marketing, publish sponsored posts, set up an online store – you name it.
WordPress also supports plugins that can help you succeed in making money. Some great examples are plugins that help you create online courses and create paid memberships.
WordPress wins the final round by a hair.
Sure, any skilled blogger can make money with either WordPress or Blogger. After all, it’s quality, user-oriented content that wins sales – not the blogging platform.
However, WordPress users have access to plugins that can make monetization easier. It’s also easier to create an authoritative, conversion-optimized blog with WordPress.
With that settled, WordPress wins as the better, overall blogging platform.
Want to begin your blogging journey? Read my guide on how to start a WordPress blog and take your first step today!
Blogger vs WordPress – FAQs
Should I start with Blogger or WordPress?
Blogger is a good option if you want to build a hobby blog on a small budget. But if you want to turn blogging into a serious profession or business, WordPress is the vastly superior choice.
Blogger vs WordPress – which platform is better for making money?
Talented and dedicated bloggers can make money from their blogs regardless of the platform they use. WordPress, however, has clear advantages that can help bloggers get ahead of the competition.
A well-designed, custom WordPress-powered site is guaranteed to make a better impression than a site with a BlogSpot subdomain. It can make your blog look more trustworthy, authoritative, and “official.”
Of course, WordPress sites are also more scalable, flexible, and feature-packed.
The only downside is, WordPress’s learning curve is slightly steeper than Blogger.
Blogger and WordPress are both trusted in the blogging industry.
They have their own pros and cons.
WordPress outshines Blogger in areas that matter to professional bloggers, like customizability, eCommerce capabilities, and site ownership. Blogger, on the other hand, is better in terms of simplicity and costs.
If you plan to make money with your blog, or if you’d like to establish a solid online presence, pick WordPress.
If you’re only interested in blogging as a hobby and want to do it the easy way, choose Blogger.
If you want to build a blog with a better overall platform, then WordPress wins.